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Full text of "Cooper Union Museum gallery guide to elements of design : a guide to a permanent changing exhibition suggesting the nature of the Museum's collections and the uses they serve"

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A guide to a permanent changing exhibition 
suggesting the nature of the Museum's col- 
lections and the uses they serve. 


Surface, as an element of design, records or creates 
the textural character of an object. As a result of 
natural structure, every object has its own unique 
surface and a designer may rely exclusively on na- 
ture for a finished article's artistic quality. 

1 Two panels; carved oak 
from the Chateau of Asnieres 
France; about 1725 

Given by the Council 

From the collection of Leon Decloux 1908-24-18a, b 

2 Pitcher; earthenware 

Iran, Gurgan; 8th-9th century, A.D. 

Purchased in memory of Georgiana L. McClellan 


On the other hand, he may transform a natural 
surface into another, artificially created surface, 
either through technical change of the medium or 
through manipulation of other design elements. 
Visually, surface is allied to our sense of touch. 
Aesthetic reactions to surface are probably the 
result of physical sensations dependent on touch 
translated into a variety of associated ideas, sensa- 
tions that allow us to sense the "feel" of any par- 
ticular object. 

3 Cap; quilted cotton and linen 
France, La Rochelle; 19th century 

Purchased in memory of Mrs. Samuel W. Bridgham 


4 Panel for a shroud; raffia cut and uncut velvet 
Republic of the Congo, Kasai Province, 

Baluba tribe; late 19th century 
Purchased, Au Panier Fleuri Fund 1957-110-3 

5 Tankard; stoneware and pewter 
Germany, Siegburg; l6th century 

Purchased in memory of Georgiana L. McClellaa 


6 Teapot; black basalt stoneware and brass 
England, Staffordshire; about 1780 

Bequest of Erskine Hewitt 1938-57-305 

7 Tent for a Summit Talk, wall hanging; batik printed 

Mary Dumas 

United States, California; 1961 
Purchased, Au Panier Fleuri Fund 1961-124-1 

8 Study in Textures, etching; soft ground etching and 


Stephen Charles Gussman ( 1939- ) 

United States, New York; I960 

Given by the Cooper Union School of Art and Archi- 
tecture 1961-32-12 

9 Vase; porcelain witli incised decoration 
China; K'ang Hsi period (1662-1722) 

Bequest of Annie I. Kane 1926-22-192 

10 Bowl; high-fired earthenware 
Madeleine Vermes 

United States, New York; 1955 

Purchased in memory of Georgiana L. McClellan 


11 Bowl; stoneware 

Emile Decoeur (1876-1953) fsJK 

France, Paris; 1940-1950 iL / A 

Given by W. B. Dalton H'ts'tJ 1960-50-1 

12 Textile; cut and uncut velvet 
Italy; 17th century 
Given by J. Pierpont Morgan 1902-1-426 

13 Textile; silk and metal chiflFon 
Elsberg & Cie. 

France, Lyons; 1915-1925 

Bequest of Herman A. Elsberg 1938-82-393 

14 Rabbit; porcelain with underglaze painting 
Royal Copenhagen Factory 

Denmark, Copenhagen; about 1920 

Bequest of Annie I. Kane 1926-37-210 

15 Textile panel; silk embroidery on linen 
Greek Islands; 18th- 19th century 

Given by the Provident Securities Company from the 
collection of Mr. and Mrs. William H. Crocker 


16 Purse; silk tapestry, copper and jadeite frame 
Edith Huntington Snow (1876-1960) 
United States; 1927 

Given by Miss Edith Huntington Snow 1956-84-17 

17 Presentation box; cinnabar lacquer 

China, Soochow; Ch'ien Lung Period (1735-1795) 
Bequest of Mary Hearn Greims 1927-5-28 

18 Wallpaper; reproduction of 18th century wallpaper 

in the Museum's collection 
Thomas Strahan Company 
United States, New York; 1922 
Given by Miss Grace Lincoln Temple 1938-62-71 


Form defines an object's shape in its structural re- 
lation to space. With like shapes recurring in dif- 
fering historical periods and in a variety of media, 
design's shapes are largely inspired by either func- 
tional necessity or shapes admired in nature. 

19 Deep bowl; painted earthenware 

Iran, from Syalk Necropolis B.; llth-lOth century 

Purchased in memory of Georgiana L. McClellan 


20 Bowl; ebony, ivory and silver 
England; 1780-1789 

Given anonymously 1957-100-1 

21 Perspectiva Corporum Regularium 

Wenzeln Jamnitzer (1508-1588); Engraved by Jost 

Amman (1539-1591) 
Germany, Nuremberg; 1586 (ed. of 1618) 
Purchased in memory of David Wolfe Bishop 


22 Design for a long-case clock; etching 
Antoine-Francois Vasse (1683-1735); etched by 

Charles Nicolas Cochin, the Younger (1715-1790) 
France; about 1734 
Given by the Council 
From the collection of Leon Decloux 1921-6-48 

23 Side chair; carved cherry wood 
Hector Guimard (1867-1942) 
France; 1908 

Given by Mme. Hector Guimard 1948-114-1 

24 Charcoal stove; glazed earthenware 
France; mid-18th century 

Given by the Misses Hewitt 1931-88-178 

Spatially, an object may itself be three-dimensional 
in shape, may create a three-dimensional effect 
through a juxtaposition of solids and voids, or it 
may create a three-dimensional illusion on a two- 
dimensional surface. 

25 Armchair; metal tubing and gray canvas 
Marcel Breuer (1902- ) 

Bauhaus Workshop 

Germany, Dessau; 1925 

Given by Gary Laredo 1956-10-1 

26 Textile; silk and metal 

Japan; late 19th-early 20th century 

Given in memory of Alice Neill Carter 1937-34-1 

27 Textile; block-printed linen 
Gregory Brown 
England; about 1925 

Given by Miss Marian Ha^ue 1937-1-13 

28 Textile; wool and linen tapestry 
Egypt; 3rd-4th century A.D. 

Given by J. Pierpont Morgan 1902-1-151 

From the Stanislas Baron Collection 

29 Wine jug; terra-cotta covered with black varnish 
Italy, region of Naples; 3rd century B.C. 

Given by Charles W. Gould 1915-11-39 

30 Sugar bowl with cover; Melamine Boontonware 
Designed by Belle Kogan 

United States, New Jersey; about 1958 

Given by Miss Belle Kogan 1959-59-45 

31 Newel post; carved oak 
France; 1740-1750 

Given by Miss Eleanor Garnier Hewitt 1909-15-1 

Frequently, on a flat surface, abstractions of shapes 
have a deliberately two-dimensional character, rep- 
resenting another approach to form in design. 

32 Le Gros Poisson Noir, plate; earthenware, 

slip and incised decoration 
Pablo Picasso (1881- ) 
France, Vallauris; 16 April, 1957 
Given by Mr. and Mrs. Daniel Saidenberg 


33 Chair back; wool and silk embroidery on linen 
France; early 18th century 

Given by Harvey Smith 1954-82-9 


Line, or linear design, is most often a natural result 
of a designer's use of particular materials. Wrought 
iron, metal wire, lace, and nearly all forms of 
calligraphic design seem to lend themselves best 
to two-dimensional decoration. A corollary and 
equally natural result is the frequent similarity of 
motifs in linear design. 

34 Trains, screen-printed on glazed cotton 
Designed by Saul Steinberg (1908- ) 
United States, New York; 1950-1955 

Given by Patterson Fabrics 1958-153-1 

35 Trains, screen-printed wallpaper 
Designed by Saul Steinberg (1908- ) 
United States, New York; 1950-1955 

Given by Piazza Prints, Inc. 1956-177-1 

36 Composition in calligraphy 
Turkey; 18th century 

Purchased in memory of John R. Safford 1953-164-1 

37 Panel; needle lace, "Point de Venise' 
Italy, Venice; 17th century 

Given by Raimundo de Madrazo 1898-1-1 

Function is a further determining influence on 
linear design. An object's use may be defined, as 
well as its shape emphasized and the technique of 
its creation explained, all through the individual 
nature of linear design. 

38 Grille; wrought iron 
France; mid-18th century 

Given by George Arnold Hearn 1901-11-2 

39 Woodblock for printing textiles 
Persia; 17th century 

Purchased, Au Panier Fleuri Fund 1957-99-1 

40 Birdcage; ivory, wood, metals, jade, enamel, 

kingfisher feathers, amethyst 
China; Ch'ien Lung Period (1735-1796) 
Given by Thomas F. Ryan 1926-22-97 

41 Lantern clock (Yagura-Dokei); lacquer on wood 

Japan; 18th century 
Bequest of Annie L Kane 1926-22-97 

42 Rocking chair; wrought iron with plush upholstery 
Designed by Peter Cooper (1791-1883) 

United States, Trenton Iron Works; about I860 
Given by Norvin Hewitt Green 1938-58-1457 


Color, the most commonplace of visual luxuries, is 
among the most difficult to understand of the ele- 
ments of design. The results of intuitive uses of 
color by artists, craftsmen and designers frequently 
parallel the facts ascertainable through scientific 
research. There is no color without light, according 
to the laws of physics, and all color is constantly 
changing as light itself changes, however im- 

43 Additive mixture of color 

The three additive primary colors of light are red, 
blue and green, here falling on the cube from filtered 
light sources above. 

Beneath the cube the mixture of red and blue pro- 
duces magenta, that of blue and green produces 
cyan, and that of green and red produces yellow. In 
each case, the color produced is complementary to 
the color of the light source intercepted by the cube. 
Yellow is complementary to blue, cyan to red, and 
magenta to green. 

The mixture of red, blue and green light at a single 
point on the top surface of the cube produces white 

Diverse phenomena in nature create colors in full 
range of the spectrum, similar to the phenomena 
seen in a rainbow, a soap bubble and an oil slick. 

44 Candelabrum; cut glass on base of ormolu and 

Wedgwood jasperware 
Given by Irwin Untermyer 195 6- 179-1 A 

45 Headdress ornament; kingfisher feathers on lacquer 
China; mid- 19th century 

Given by William Dangaix Allen 1939-73-11 

46 Flask; blown and cut glass 
Iran; 9th- 10th century 

Purchased in memory of Annie I. Kane 1959-90-1 

47 Bracelet; glass 

Syria; lst-5th century A.D. 

Given anonymously 1928-15-1 

48 Newton's Rings, spectrum produced on glass film 

suspended in bubble as a result of natural phe- 
nomenon called interference. 

Designed and made by H. O. Morgan 

United States, New Jersey; I960 

Given by H. O. Morgan 1960-251-1 

49 Abalone shell 

50 Vase; Favrile glass 

Louis Comfort Tiffany (1848-1933) 

United States, New York; 1900-1910 

Given anonymously 1952-166-33 

51 Sheet diffraction grating, 13,400 lines to the inch, 

used for measurement of wave lengths in the 
visible spectrum. 
Given by the Physics Department, Cooper Union 
School of Engineering 

Color may be imagined as a three-dimensional solid 
consisting of hue, value (relative degree between 
white and black), and chroma (relative bright- 

52 Four cross sections of a pigment solid constructed 

around a slanting value scale axis: 

a. Top of pigment solid viewed from above 

b. Middle cross-section of pigment solid 

c. Bottom of pigment solid 

d. Vertical cross-section of cylindrical pigment 

Oil on fiberboard 
Hilaire Hiler ( 1898- ) 
United States; 1936-1937 
Given by Hilaire Hiler 1960-244-11,-12,-13,-15 

53 Munsell color tree; hue, value and chroma for ten 

major hues 
Given by the Munsell Color Company, Inc. 


Color is naturally created or artificially manufac- 
tured in ways that are essentially chemical in origin 
and technique. 

54 Raw glazes and fired glaze samples 
Given by American Art Clay Company 

55 Raw cosmetic pigments 

Given by H. Kohnstamn & Company, Inc. 

56 Automobile paint color samples 
Given by Allied Chemical Corporation, 

National Aniline Division, Harmon Colors 

57 Beaker; earthenware, crazed copper glaze 
Theodore Deck (1823-1891) 

France; late 19th century 

Given by the Misses Hewitt 1931-48-21 

58 Cup; ceramic frit 

Egypt; XVIII-XIX dynasty (I6th-13th centuries, 

Purchased in memory of the Misses Hewitt 


59 Lamp; earthenware 

Mesopotamia, Rakka; 12th- 13th century 
Purchased in memory of David Wolfe Bishop 


60 'Shawabti' (figure of a servant for the after-life); 

Egypt; late dynastic, 7th-4th century B.C. 
Given by the Estate of David Wolfe Bishop 


61 Figurine of lion-headed goddess; glass paste 
Egypt; late dynastic, 7th-6th century B.C. 
Given by the Estate of David Wolfe Bishop 


62 The Immaculate Virgin; porcelain, polychrome and 

Model attributed to Wenzel Ney 
Germany, Fulda; 1770-1780 
Given by the Trustees of the Estate of 

Jarhes Hazen Hyde 1960-1-4^ 

63 Textile; brocaded silk taffeta dyed with fuchsine, 

the earliest stable synthetic dye 
France; late 19th century 
Given by J. Pierpont Morgan 1902-l-803a 

Color is perceived through a complex series of 
actions involving the eye and the brain. Optical 
response accounts for such phenomena as the 
simultaneous contrast of colors. 

64 De la Lot du Contraste Simultane des Couleurs, 

Michel-Eugene Chevreul (1786-1889) 
France; Paris; 1839 
Cooper Union Museum Library 

65 Snuff bottle; cameo-cut overlay glass 
China; Tao Kuang period (1821-1851) 

■...Given by the Misses Hewitt 1931-64-51 

(}(> Blouse; cotton and rayon applique and patchwork 
Panama, San Bias Islands; 20th century 
Given by Mrs. John "Winslow 1960-58-1 

Optical mixture of two colors, in which the eye 
sees neither as it is seen in isolation but an 
apparent third color, is called fusion. 

61 Scarf; silk ikat 
Bali; 19th century 
Given by Mrs. R. Keith Kane from the 

Estate of Mrs. Robert B. Noyes 1943-5-10 

68 Detail and enlargement of a poster printed in Three- 

Color Process 

69 Two exercises in color luminosity; tempera on card- 

Modesto Chiesa 

United States, New York; I960 
Lent by the Cooper Union School of Art and 


70 Plates from The Four-Color Process Guide 
Published by Collier Photo Engraving Company 
Printed by Graphic Publishing Company, Inc. 
United States, New York; I960 

Given by Louis Dorfsman 1960-84-1 

71 Pythagoras; screen-printed cotton 
Designed by Sven Markelius (1889- ) 
Sweden; 1950-1955 

Produced and given by Knoll Associates, Inc. 


72 Demonstration of lighting differences on color 
Made by General Electric Company, Large Lamp 

Purchased, Pauline Riggs Noyes Fund 1960-252-1 

73 Design for a Chinese Pavilion; watercolor and . . , 

Frederick Grace (1779-1857) 
England, London; 1815-1822 
Purchased in memory of Annie I. Kane 1948-40-79 

74 Processional objects; opaque watercolor 
China; 1794-1804 

Purchased in memory of Emily Rowland Chauncey 


75 Spectrum; printed cotton 
Designed by Rolf Middelboe 
Denmark; 1950-1955 

Given by Jack Lenor Larsen, Inc. 1960-170-1 

The use of color as symbol is not alone restricted 
to rank or ritual; it also serves as a method of 
identification, today as well as in the past. 

76 Birdcage; glass, metal and wood 

Traditional symbolism links blue domes with the 

celestial world 
Italy; early 19th century 
Given by the Misses Hewitt 1916-19-92 

77 Two playing cards; block-printed in color 
Spain; early 19th century 

Given by Mrs. Edward C. Moen 1952-135-1 

78 Bracelet with amulets; coral and gold 

Coral has been thought by many peoples to have 

homoeopathic magical powers 
Italy; about 1870 
Given from the Estate of and in memory of 

Mrs. Robert B. Noyes 1946-50-19 

79 Necklace; coral, gold and silver 
Turkey; late 19th century 

Given by Miss Sarah Cooper Hewitt 1931-6-182 

80 Multi-conductor cable, pre-wired hook-up for a 

complex electrical circuit. Colors serve as guide in 
final assembly. 1960-253-1 

81 Kian, embroidered nuptial scarf; hemp and metal on 

Orange, red and black are considered the requisite 

colors for a wedding in parts of the Buddhist 

Sumatra; late 19th century 

Purchased, Au Panier Fleuri Fund 1956-18-1 

82 Chart of code for identification of heraldic colors, 

the earliest known system of color codification. 
The importance of color in heraldry derives from its 
dual use as symbol of a clan or family, and of 
personal attributes of individual members of the 
clan or family. 

83 Seal box and cover, with seal of Leopold II (1747- 

1792); brass and sealing wax 
Austria; 1790-1792 

Given by the Estate of Mrs. Lathrop Colgate Harper 

1957-l65-15a, b 

84 Gaming purse; silk and metal, embroidered 
Austria or Germany; mid- 18th century 

Given by Irwin Untermyer 1959-170-4 


Rhythm is more often associated with music and 
poetry than with visual design, but is, nevertheless, 
an integral part of the designer's craft. An orderly 
repetition of pattern, color or motif, rhythm pro- 
duces exactly the same stimulus for the eye as does 
verbal or musical rhythm for the ear. 

Variations in pattern, ranging from a simple scroll 
to an intricate series of mixed motifs in which 
variations of technique as well as design add to an 
overall rhythmic character, allow for degrees of 
complexity in rhythmic pace. 

85 Designs for stencilled wall decoration; pencil and 
opaque watercolors 
Austria, Vienna; about 1830 
Purchased in memory of Mary Hearn Grimes 


86 Baroque Stripe, wallpaper; silk-screened paper 
Jack Lenor Larsen (1927- ) 

United States; I960 

Given by Karl Mann Associates 1960-91-1 

87 Citadel, wallpaper; silk-screened paper 
Jack Lenor Larsen (1927- ) 
United States; I960 

Given by Karl Mann Associates 1960-91-2 

88 Stage Design: A Palace Hall; pen and ink with 

ink and grey washes 
Manner of Ferdinando (Galli) Bibiena (1657-1743) 
Italy; about 1740 
Purchased, General Funds 
From the Piancastelli Collection 1938-88-73 

89 Two-dimensional Construction; wood on cardboard 
Ayielda Sikora (1942- ) 

United States, New York; I960 
Given by the Cooper Union School of Art and 
Architecture 1961-20-2 

90 Panel; carved oak 
France; 1795-1805 

Given by George Arnold Hearn 1902-9-4 

91 Textile panel; silk embroidery on linen 
Greek Islands, Thasos; 18th century 
Given by the Provident Securities Company 

From the collection of Mr. and Mrs. William H. 
Crocker 1955-133-1 

92 Two furniture mounts; gilt bronze 
France; about 1800 

Given by Jacob H. Schiff 1904-20-553,-137 

93 Wave at Salt a Point, from the Thirty -six Views oj 
Fuji series: 

Woodcut in colors 
Hiroshige (Ichiryusai) (1797-1858) 
. Japan; about 1857 
Given by the Estate of Mrs. Robert H. Patterson 


94 Seal, initials A. G.; gilt bronze 
Hector Guimard (1867-1942) 
France; about 1905 

Given by Mme. Hector Guimard 1956-76-3 

95 Three textiles; block-printed cotton 
Raoul Dufy (1877-1953) 
France; 1920-1924 

Purchased, Au Panier Fleuri Fund 1934-14-1,-2,-4 

96 Wallpaper; machine-printed with details printed 

from v70odblocks 
England; 1890-1895 
Given by Miss Annie May Hegeman 1936-5-4 




chm NK460.N5C77C 
Cooper Union Museum^le^ guide to ele